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How to Clean Outdoor Patio Furniture Cushions

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Adding the right elements to your outdoor deck, such as outdoor furniture, can make a big impact on your outdoor deck. However, when you have some furniture or cushions placed on your outdoor deck, it is easy to get stains or even bird droppings. When this happens, it may give you a worse experience. Therefore, when you use outdoor furniture to further enhance your outdoor living experience, you need to know how to clean outdoor furniture cushions.

When it comes to cleaning outdoor cushions, stains can be difficult to remove because no two are the same. Sometimes you have to fight what happens in a matter of minutes, and sometimes you have to fight stains that have been there for years. Oil and water stains mean that patio cushions can’t always be thrown straight into the washing machine. Because some stains need to be cleaned immediately, it’s important to know how to clean patio cushions the right way.

How to clean outdoor cushions

Outside patio cushions come in a huge variety of fabric blends, stitching styles, and material qualities. Depending on the temperature, they may age, fade, or act in different ways. However, knowing some basic ways to clean patio cushions and when to use them can help you keep them as fresh and beautiful as possible over time.

outdoor deck cushions

Wash by hand

Outdoor furniture cushions often have fabrics that are gentle to the touch or have been treated with special chemicals to protect them from UV rays. Therefore, hand washing is usually the best way to clean outdoor cushions. Most outdoor fabrics can be scrubbed with a stiff bristle brush, but you still need to check with the manufacturer or do a field test to determine the durability of the fabric.

Tools needed for hand washing.

  • Hose
  • Nozzle for a hose sprayer
  • Brush
  • Bucket of water
  • Soap/cleaner
  1. Start by spraying the cushions with the hose to get them wet. Keep them off the grass and anything else that might stain them.
  2. If possible, spray each cushion rather than trying to get the whole thing wet. In your bucket, mix 2 tablespoons of detergent or another cleaning agent with a gallon of water.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution to the cushions with a brush, paying attention to the stained areas, and rinse each cushion.
  4. Place the cushions in the sun to dry.

Machine Washing

If you want to clean the cushions on your outdoor furniture with minimal effort, you may want to use a washing machine. Pay close attention to the care instructions on the patio cushion labels to make sure they can pass through the washer and dryer.

What you will need for machine washing.

  • Washing machine
  • Liquid detergent
  • Dryer or clothesline
  1. If needed, treat stains with a cleaning solution before washing them.
  2. When using the washing machine, usually set the wash to the “gentle” cycle.
  3. Dry the fabric in the air or in the dryer until it is only slightly damp. By keeping the fabric slightly damp, it can return to its original shape without shrinking.

Power Washing

When there is a deep stain on the fabric cushions of your outdoor furniture, how do you clean it? Power washing can be one of the best ways to clean outdoor patio cushions if the fabric can withstand the pressure. However, you need to be a little careful with power washing; pressure washing may damage the seams or tear off the buttons. Therefore, before power washing furniture cushions, check the care instructions on the fabric care label or check the manufacturer’s website to make sure that pressure washing will not cause more damage to your cushions.

What you will need for power washing.

  • A pressure washer
  • Attachment for the soap sprayer
  • Bristle brush for fabrics
  • Pressure washer cleaning agent
  1. Mix the solution for your pressure washer and make sure the nozzle is open and tight.
  2. Choose the lowest PSI setting and spray as far away from the target as possible.
  3. If possible, try not to spray directly into the seams.
  4. Once the cushion is washed, flip it horizontally to help it dry. Flip the sides as needed to help them dry evenly.

How to clean outdoor cushions with specific stains

We can’t help but say: not all stains are created equal. Molds are usually more of a problem in some climates than in others, but they can easily grow anywhere if not properly cared for. Bird droppings can also be difficult to remove. But with the right solution, you can reduce the amount of time and effort needed to remove certain stains.

Bird droppings

When cleaning bird droppings from outdoor patio cushions, it’s important to try not to spread the stain. Removing as much of the substrate as possible from the cushion before cleaning, and then scrubbing in small circles rather than long strokes, can make the process easier.

Spray the stain with a liquid detergent mixed with warm or (if possible) hot water. Spray the stain where you can see it. Gently scrub the fabric with a soft bristle brush or towel. Most of the time, you won’t need a special detergent, but if you do, a pet stain cleaner will usually do the trick.

Mold and mildew

Mold usually develops in damp, dark, warm environments. Not only is mold unclean and unsightly, but it can give cushions a strange odor, and it can make them look bad. If you can, bleach is usually the best way to clean patio cushions that have mold. However, it will depend on what the mold is growing on.

Mix a half cup of bleach or Lysol disinfectant with a gallon of water and spray the solution directly on the mold to clean it. Scrub the cushion with a brush, then let it dry. Darker mold spots may require more than one spray and scrub. In most cases, it’s better to do four gentle scrubs than to try to get the job done with two rough scrubs. Follow the same steps for cleaning acrylic cushions, but add two extra cups of detergent to the cleaning solution.

Food and oil stains

When you have an outdoor dining area, food stains are almost inevitable. But with the right method, even these stains can be removed.

If the stain is new, you can use a clean cloth to wipe away the oil. If not, get the stain out as soon as possible. Once the oil stain has dried, it will be harder to remove. In both cases, try putting baking soda on the fabric and letting it sit for a day. Remove the baking soda with a brush, then spray the cushion with a solution of vinegar and water. Then scrub it and wash it again.

Depending on the fabric, chalk and detergent may also work. Keep in mind, however, that oils tend to stick to synthetic fibers rather than repel them, which can make stains difficult to remove. To prevent stains from spreading, you’ll need to move in small, controlled steps, just as you would with bird droppings.

How to keep your outdoor furniture cushions looking good

Taking regular care of your patio furniture and cushions can save you a lot of trouble and make cleanup much easier in the long run. When it comes to taking care of your outdoor cushions, taking a few simple steps can save you a lot of hassle. Here are some things you should keep in mind.

  • When the outdoor environment is more humid, the chance of mold is higher, while when it is dry, the chance of wind or dust is higher. Respond according to the different situations.
  • Protective sprays can help prevent water damage and make it easier to clean up stains in the future.
  • Regular use of a leaf blower can stop the build-up of hard-to-remove debris and prevent water from getting stuck in the fibers and causing water stains.
  • Covering furniture when it’s not in use can make it last longer, and turning cushions regularly can help them age and wear evenly in the sun.
  • If you clean up spills as soon as possible, you can prevent the growth of bugs, mold, and other stains.
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